23 March 2012
Neighbours Day supported by Community Housing Aotearoa
The growing celebration of an annual Neighbours Day - taking place this weekend around New Zealand - is a great way to look beyond the houses we live in to the people we live next door to, says Community Housing Aotearoa.
"Events such as Neighbours Day and World Habitat Day in October, shine a much-needed light on the importance of placing a much higher value on turning our streets into neighbourhoods and our neighbourhoods into well-planned communities," says David McCartney, executive officer of the national body for not-for-profit housing providers.
"Community Housing Aotearoa has more than 100 member organisations in cities and towns nationwide, all of whom spend their working lives focused on the goals being promoted by Neighbours Day and occasionally fighting divisive behaviour such as the NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome".
"Every week Community Housing Aotearoa members are introducing new neighbours to each other and organising events like street barbeques and programmes that assist people to settle into new communities They lead the way by being proud of the housing they provide and by showing high standards of responsible care towards tenants," says David McCartney.
"In the first place, of course, our overall concern is to ensure that there is a growing supply of safe and sound housing to inclusively meet the needs of everyone in the community and their basic human right to have a place to live that they can call their own - whatever a person's or family's financial circumstances, state of health, background or age might be".
"From our point of view all housing in New Zealand is 'social housing' - all of our communities are made up of diverse neighbours, and all of our communities can only be stronger if we become less isolated from each other. As a society we can only benefit from taking a more social approach. This resilience, as so amply demonstrated in Christchurch, is vital".
This year Community Housing Aotearoa is promoting its support for Neighbours Day by pointing people to a set of video clips about practical options that have been opening more doorways to community housing in West Auckland. See: http://www.youtube.com/user/Doorways2Housing
Next week Community Housing Aotearoa is also supporting the 2012 National Maori Housing Conference in the Bay of Islands from Monday 26 March to Wednesday 28 March. Case studies being presented at this hui will cover homelessness, social housing, kaumatua and kuia housing, and healthy homes.